Whenever there is action, that means that there are not only car chases, explosions, shootings, and guns but also fists, punches and round kicks. Many of the martial arts actors in the Funny Action Movie genre master a huge collection of deadly techniques that they use in close combat scenes.
In fact, most of these martial arts actors used to compete in official tournaments at the very dawn of their acting careers and then they used the fame gained to establish themselves in the cinema industry. More or less (in most cases more) the martial arts are taking a huge part in their lives.
What a better way to become an action star when there is a real, heart-pounding action in your life, right?
Here is a list of the top five martial arts actors a.k.a. killing machines, who can terminate you with their bare hands. These machos have a proven record in the real-life fighting world and they based their movie careers on the martial arts knowledge.
1.Bruce Lee (1940-1973)
A lot of things were said and written about probably the most influential figure in the martial arts movie industry. Where exactly the fiction meets reality can sometimes be difficult to determine but one thing leaves no doubt- Bruce Lee had kung fu in his blood. The man was breathing martial arts.
Many people don’t know that Lee Jun Fan (as his real name was) was an accomplished cha-cha dancer and championship winner. Officially, he had only five years of formal martial arts training under the guidance of another legend- “Sifu Yip Man”.
Yip Man taught Bruce the art of wing chun kung fu– a self defense technique from close range combat. By the way, if you haven’t seen the three Yip Man movies starring Donnie Yen, you definitely might want to check them out. Believe me it is well worth your time.
Because of his hot temper and the police issues he had in Hong Kong, his parents suggested him to try his luck in the United States where he was initially born.
While he was living in America, Lee opened a kung fu school and eventually became associated with many key figures in the U.S. martial arts scene. Soon he was noticed by famous Hollywood producers. The rest is a history.
His genuine talent and unbelievable speed has established him as a leading authority in the mixed martial arts and cinema scenes.
Among the most memorable movies, revealing his magical martial arts techniques are “Enter the Dragon”, “The Way of the Dragon” and “Fists of Fury”. And yes, those are great funny action movies.
2.Michael Jai White (1967)
3rd dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, 3rd dan Black Belt in Goju Ryu ,3rd degree Black Belt in Kyokushin, 2nd degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, 1st degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do. Do you still wonder why Michael Jai White takes part in this prestigious martial arts actors list?
If you still do, then let me tell you that the muscular build international box office sensation has eight black belts in eight different martial arts forms. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? The man is no joke at all.
Honored with the title Man of the Year by the popular “Black Belt” magazine in 2014 and inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, Michael Jai White is allegedly the most accomplished, highly trained action star in America.
Michael also often does comedy and drama movies which makes him a pretty versatile artist.
3. Chuck Norris (1940)
Don’t worry, he is in the list, don’t rush to kill me, please.
By the way, did you know that Chuck Norris has already been to Mars and that is why there are no signs of life?
Ok let’s get serious here.
It is just impossible not to include in the list the first ever Westerner in the history of the Tae Kwon Do, honored with the rank of 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master title.
During his impressive martial arts career, Carlos Ray Norris has won numerous tournaments. His name is also in the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame. He was several times on the cover of the Black Belt magazine and in 2000, Chuck Norris has been given the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.
He also has a rich and successful military career with many different medals and honorary awards.
In his movies, he is rarely even wounded and he kicks tough asses for breakfast.
In case you have missed watching the legendary on-screen fight between Chuck and Bruce Lee in the funny action movie called “Way of the dragon”, please watch it. It is superb.
4. Steven Seagal (1952)
You surely remember how brightly The Master of Aikido shines in “Under Siege” and “Above the Law”. Steven can easily break your arms like if they are toothpicks.
Lord Steven, as one of his nickname is, holds a 7th-degree black belt in Aikido- a Japanese martial art which teaches how to harmonize your moves to your opponent’s body motions (or attacks). The idea of this martial art form is to defend yourself without hurting your attacker.
Well, at least in his movies, Steven Seagal doesn’t follow this rule because all of his opponents die painfully.
What is interesting about this iconic actor is the fact that he is the first ever foreigner to open a dojo in Japan where he is a respected Aikido instructor.
Steven is also a well-known musician who travels the world with his band and some time ago he was a Reserve Deputy Chief in Louisiana Sheriff’s office.
5. Scott Adkins (1976)
The most complete fighter in the world “Yuri Boyka”, a.k.a. Scott Adkins was born in the United Kingdom in 1976.
He holds a black belt in kickboxing, which he achieved when he was only 19 years old. His spectacular martial arts skills come from knowing ninjutsu, judo, Karate, jujutsu, wushu, Krav Maga, capoeira and Jeet Kun Do. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty impressed!
Scott Adkins is mostly known for his stunningly beautiful and complex fight choreography in the smashing hit “Undisputed 2: Last man standing” and the followed sequel” Undisputed 3: Redemption”.
The fans are impatiently waiting for the fourth installment of the franchise and the third with Scott starring in it. The direct-to-video movie is coming on 17th January 2017 in the U.S.A. (“Boyka: Undisputed IV”).
All of the four movies were shot in Bulgaria.
Scott’s heart-stopping martial arts skills have gained him mainstream success and roles in various mainstream blockbusters like “Expendables 2”, “Doctor Strange”, “The Bourne Ultimatum” and many others.
So here it was the list of the TOP FIVE American or United Kingdom born martial arts actors. Stay healthy by not messing around with these tough nice guys.
Which actors would you include on the list? Leave a comment below if you have somebody on your mind.